I thought it was only appropriate to write on the topic of LOVE while I am in Paris (known as the “City of Love”) during February! I read an interesting article in The Washington Post last month about love that discussed the benefits of friendships, and was perfectly titled “Want to be healthier? Hang out with your friends!”
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it made me think that this holiday should not just focus on romantic love but also on friendships. The article so accurately stated, “Platonic love trumps romantic love in a number of ways. People with strong friendships tend to have better mental health and studies suggest they’re in better physical health, as well. Researchers have found large social networks lower our risk of premature death more than exercise or dieting alone.” I read this multiple times because it sounded vaguely familiar. And then it dawned on me that the familiarity came from many similar studies and language surrounding the benefits of having a pet. If you read my columns, you know I often discuss the human-animal bond, a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals. So, I immediately had to write about this because while I am not currently in a romantic relationship, I do have the love of my friends (who are all over the world) and the love of my beautiful dogs, KoKo and KARTU. I am excited to celebrate those loves this Valentine’s Day and encourage my readers to stop and reflect on their own lives. If you are happily married or in a romantic relationship…YOU are surrounded by love. If you are single and have a few friendships that you so dearly cherish…YOU are surrounded by love. If you have a pet by your side…YOU are surrounded by love.
Since this is a pet column, I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from my book “It’s In the Bag” and one of my own that discuss a pet’s love:
“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart.” – Erica Jong
“You will never replace or forget a dog’s unconditional love and spirit as they change and enrich our lives forever.” – Gayle Martz
We live in a beautiful, crazy world that is, without a doubt, filled with love. You just might not have been looking in the right places. Go out and make those new friends (Hi, Dian!) or consider getting a pet. No, you are not too old for a pet! And, have yourself a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Gayle Martz is the SilverDisobedience Pet Ambassador who will be sharing her insight on a variety of pet-related topics. Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag you see everywhere! This carrier, which millions have bought for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popularly soft-sided pet carrier. Further, it is because of Gayle’s advocacy and entrepreneurship that pet travel on airlines is now possible and common. Gayle’s the author of “IT’S IN THE BAG”, which is part memoir and part business book.